Thursday, 18 December 2014
Christmas cakes with pineapple
The Australian All Colour Cook Book, Good Housekeeping Institute 1989
Almond Sponge Christmas Cake with glace fruit
“For those who do not like the traditional rich fruit cake at Christmas, this cake is the perfect alternative. The cake itself is light and moist, and the decoration looks as festive as a traditional snow scene, or any other design using marzipan and royal icing.
The decoration of glacé cherries, almonds and candied angelica gives a Christmassy look, but you can vary this according to taste; at Christmas-time, many stores and delicatessens stock other glacé fruit such as apricots and pineapples.”
Serves 8 – 10
225g butter or margarine; 225g caster sugar; 4 eggs, beaten; 125g self-raising flour, sifted with a pinch of salt; 100g ground almonds; 225g can pineapple slices; about 30ml warm water; 30ml apricot jam; 50g glacé cherries; 50g blanched almonds; 25-40g candied angelica; red and green ribbon, to decorate
1 Prepare the cake tin. Grease and base line a deep 20.5cm loose-bottomed round cake tin. Tie a double thickness of brown paper around the outside of the tin, to come about 5cm above the rim.
2 Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time and beat until thoroughly combined. Add a little of the flour with the last addition of the egg, to prevent curdling, then beat in the ground almonds and the remaining flour.
3 Drain the pineapple slices and chop roughly. Dry thoroughly with absorbent kitchen paper. Fold into the cake mixture, then add enough warm water to give a soft dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
4 Bake the cake in the oven at 170°C mark 3 for 1 ½ hours or until cooked through, covering the top with a double thickness of greaseproof paper after 1 hour’s cooking time, if necessary to prevent over-browning. To test if the cake is cooked, insert a warmed fine skewer in the centre – it should come out clean.
5 Leave the cake to settle in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes, then remove and stand on a wire rack.
6 Make the decoration for the top off the cake while cake is still warm. Cut the glacé cherries in half. Split the blanched almonds in half lengthways. Cut the angelica into diamond shapes.
7 Warm half of the jam until melted, then sieve and brush over the top of the warm cake. Press the cherries, nuts and angelica on top of the cake in a decorative design (as in the photograph or use your own design). Melt and sieve the remaining jam, then brush over the design.
8 To serve, tie red and green ribbon around the cake to give it a festive look. Store the cake in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.
Menu suggestion: This cake is equally good served at teatime or with morning coffee.
During random cake testing in Gloucester NSW this cake was highly recommended!
Margaret Fulton Cookbook Sydney 1979 (first published 1968)
Rich Christmas Cake
“Traditional Christmas Cooking: What would Christmas be without a rich spicy fruit cake or a pudding fairly bursting at the seams with plump fruits and presented with great pomp and ceremony?
Make the rich cake and pudding, also the mincemeat for the tarts, well ahead to give them time to mature and develop richness for Christmas day.”
Fruit: 350g raisins; 350g sultanas; 100g mixed peel; 100g glacé cherries; 50g glacé apricots; 50g glacé pineapple; 3 tblspn brandy or rum; 3 tblspn sherry
Cake mixture: 225g butter; 1 ¼ cups brown sugar; grated rind of 1 lemon; 1 tblspn golden syrup; 2 tblspn marmalade; 5 eggs; 2 ½ cups plain flour; 1 tspn mixed spice; 1 tspn ground cinnamon; ¼ tspn salt; 100g blanched almonds; extra brandy
First prepare fruit: Wash raisins and sultanas separately and dry thoroughly. Chop raisins. Put into bowl with finely chopped peel. Cut cherries, apricots and pineapple into small dice, add to fruit in bowl. Sprinkle with brandy (or rum) and sherry. Leave overnight.
Next day: Beat butter and brown sugar with lemon rind until light and creamy. Add golden syrup and marmalade. Beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add 1 tablespoon flour with last egg. Sift together flour, spices and salt and stir into creamed mixture alternately with fruit and chopped almonds.
Spoon mixture into an 20cm square ort round tin lined with 2 thicknesses each of brown and greased greaseproof paper. Arrange extra almond on top. Bake in a slow oven (150°C) for about 4 hours or until cooked. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon extra brandy.
To ice cake: If cake is to be iced, do not arrange almonds on top. Brush top of cake with slightly beaten egg white. On a board dusted with icing sugar roll out Almond Paste to cover top, put on cake and press gently with rolling pin. Leave several hours or overnight. Make Fondant icing and roll out to fit top of cake. Brush Almond Paste with egg white, put Fondant Icing on top. Decorate and put cake frill around sides.
Almond Paste This quantity will cover top and sides of one20 cm cake, or the tops only of two cakes.
450g icing sugar; 225g ground almonds or marzipan meal; juice of ½ lemon; 1 egg yolk; 2 tblspn sherry; few drops almond essence (optional)
Sift icing sugar, combine with ground almonds or marzipan meal. Mix together lemon juice, sherry and egg yolk. Mix into icing sugar nearly all at once to form a paste which can be rolled out. If mixture is too dry, add a little more sherry.
450g icing sugar; 50g liquid glucose; 1 egg white; flavouring
Sift icing sugar, make a well in the centre and add glucose, egg white and flavouring. Beat. Drawing the icing sugar into the centre, until the mass is a stiff paste. Turn on to a board lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead into a paste. Use to cover top and sides of one cake, or tops only of two.